Chinese outward-bound foreign direct investment (ODI) has grown rapidly over the past decade, and Australia is now its single largest destination. This raises important questions about whether such regulation is desirable, and what regulation governing foreign direct investment should be.
These questions were up for discussion recently, when EABER organised a roundtable on Chinese ODI in Canberra.
The discussions on the day sought to improve our understanding of Chinese ODI -- to what countries and sectors is it directed, which Chinese firms invest most overseas and what are the motives for investing -- as well as analysing and comparing different countries' regulatory responses.
"Chinese direct investment in Australia has grown to a point where China invests more in Australia, relative to its potential, than it does in any other country," observed Dr Shiro Armstrong of the Crawford School. "This investment has made Australia unequivocally better-off, and it is essential that regulations governing foreign direct investment promote, rather than hinder, greater investment, treating all foreign investment equally."
The roundtable is part of a larger project of EABER's on Chinese ODI and the regulation governing it. This project was recently awarded funding by the Australian Research Council and will continue for the next three years.